Nile River Basin States urged to Step up Cooperative Agreement Ratification

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and Uganda called on the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) member countries to speed up the ratification process of the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA).

Ethiopia’s Water and Energy Minister Habtamu Itefa, and his Ugandan counterpart, Sam Cheptoris, made the call at the NBI states’ one-day ministerial meeting in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam.

The two ministers urged the NBI states to expedite the ratification of the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement, said Shibru Mamo, Ethiopian ambassador to Tanzania who attended the meeting.

The NBI states – Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, the DRC, and Egypt – came up with the CAF in 2010 after decade-long negotiations.

The Initiative, later joined by South Sudan, made the agreement open for signing. Six countries signed it, and, of which, four have already ratified the deal, also known as the Entebbe Agreement.

Egypt and Sudan rejected the CFA, seeking to keep the colonial-era treaties that share the Nile water rights between Cairo and Khartoum to remain intact – a stand the remaining NBI nations oppose.

The Cooperative Framework Agreement will become international law upon ratification by at least six countries.